Are Dermal Fillers Safe and Other Important Questions?

Are Dermal Fillers Safe | Aesthetics by Stephanie | Livingston | Bathgate

Key Takeaways

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Are Dermal Filler safe? Yes. Dermal fillers are typically regarded as safe when administered by a skilled aesthetic injector.

In the UK, dermal filler treatments have been steadily increasing in recent years, and are now the second most common non surgical procedure behind botox injections. Many people are opting for dermal fillers as an effective way of treating volume loss and restoring a youthful appearance to the face, whilst also improving skin quality by boosting collagen production and hydrating skin from the inside. 


What are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal filler are an effective way to fill in wrinkles and fine lines, restore volume, and improve facial contours. There are many different types and brands of filler available today, however, the dermal fillers made of hyaluronic acid, a substance that naturally occurs in the body and keeps the skin hydrated and plump, are by far the most popular.

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring sugar chain molecule found in all skin and soft tissues throughout the body, identical across species. Dermal fillers are manufactured, usually through fermentation and cross linking with proteins to produce a clear, sterile gel for injection into the skin. In the UK, there are over 160 brands of dermal filler on the market. Not all hyaluronic acids are the same, each brand has a range of ‘tissue tailored’ products designed for specific results. One size does not fit all, for example a robust and thick filler would be preferable to lift and support the cheeks, whereas a more dynamic and flexible one would be better suited for perioral lines and lip enhancement.

There are numerous synthetic dermal filler types available, including calcium hydroxyapatite, poly-L-lactic acid, and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). These fillers are made to promote collagen production and deliver benefits that last longer.


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Are Dermal Fillers Safe?

Dermal fillers are typically regarded as safe when administered by a skilled aesthetic injector, but there is always a chance of complications, unpleasant reactions, or side effects, just like with any medical procedure or treatment. To minimise these risks, choose a qualified and experienced aesthetic practitioner who uses high-quality dermal fillers. It is also essential you disclose any medical conditions, allergies, and medications that may affect the procedure.


Common Side Effects

The most typical side effects are bruising, swelling, and redness at the injection site. They are frequently brief and moderate, and they are typically treatable with cold packs and over-the-counter painkillers.


Rare Side Effects

Significant side effects are uncommon, but they can happen if the filler is administered wrongly or if the patient experiences an allergic response to it. They include:

  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Lump formation
  • Skin discolouration
  • Necrosis


Can You Undo the Results of Fillers?

If you aren’t fully satisfied with the results of your filler treatment, it is possible to undo these results or partially remove fillers to achieve your ideal appearance. This is another reason why filler treatments are considered safer than other treatments, which often leave you with no other recourse but than to allow the effects of the treatment to fade over time.


Are dermal fillers safe long-term?

Hyaluronic Acid fillers have been used cosmetically since the early 2000s and the data available so far suggests that injecting fillers pose no long-term health implications. There is also a positive case to be made about the impact of dermal fillers on mental health, confidence and body image.

Unfortunately, some injectors overdo it with fillers on their patients, leading to a skewed definition of beauty and instead of natural looking enhancements, the internet is now full of cartoonish looking “trout pouts”, “chipmunk cheeks” and “pillow face”.


Are fillers safer than Botox?

Dermal fillers and Botox are both extremely safe, provided they’re administered by an experienced and qualified practitioner.

Botox has been used for decades to treat prominent wrinkles. It’s a prescription-only medicine and is licensed for both medical and cosmetic treatments.

As the majority of fillers used today are made of hyaluronic acid, which is a substance the body naturally produces to help the skin cells retain moisture, making it look plumper and more hydrated they are very safe to use.

But beware..
If injected by an inadequately trained person, there is a risk of infection, irregularity and skin necrosis.


What are the downsides of fillers?


1. The cost of dermal fillers can be high

Though they do a great job at helping us look more youthful and attractive, they do come at a price, which can be prohibitively high for some patients, especially if a large volume of product is required to achieve the desired results.


2. Side effects such as bruising, bleeding, and swelling

Most dermal fillers use naturally-occurring components. They are fully biocompatible and produce no known long-term adverse effects. However, in the short term, dermal fillers can cause bleeding, bruising, and swelling at injection sites. To minimize these you may be asked to cease certain medications and indirectly applying ice packs to the treatment area. On the whole, most patients find these effects very bearable, short-lived, and self-resolving


3. Dermal fillers are not permanent

Most dermal fillers last between 6 and 18 months, with an excellent average lifespan being around 12 months. That is a long time to enjoy improvements to one’s complexion and appearance, but it isn’t permanent. To most patients, this is understandable as little else in life, particularly in diet, physique, and beauty, is permanent but requires constant attention.


4. Rare but possible; other things to be aware of

A tiny percentage of patients may metabolise fillers much faster than others. Others may experience additional infrequent side effects, including rashes, the development of lumps under the skin, or the erroneous injection of filler into a blood vessel. Again, these are extremely rare if a qualified and experienced injector does dermal fillers.


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Dermal filler injections are typically a safe and effective way to treat volume loss, restore a youthful appearance to the face, whilst also improving skin quality by boosting collagen production and hydrating skin there are a few side effects to be aware of like with any medical procedure. Its important that you choose a reliable injector with dermal filler injection experience who can accurately assess your unique needs and offer the best course of action if you are thinking about getting this treatment.

It is important to approach the decision with caution and make an informed choice. As with any cosmetic procedure, the best approach is to understand the risks and benefits and to work with a reputable, knowledgeable and experienced aesthetic injector to achieve the best possible results.



Frequently Asked Questions

The longevity of dermal fillers can vary greatly depending on several factors.

  1. The type of filler used can have a significant impact on how long it lasts. Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers, which are the most commonly used type of lip filler, can last twelve months or more. Other types of fillers, such as collagen and fat injections, can last for several months to years, depending on the individual.
  2. The amount of filler injected can also affect the longevity of the results but remember, overfilling can lead to a more unnatural look and may cause the filler to migrate out of the lip border into the surrounding tissues.
  3. An individual’s metabolism can play a role in how long lip filler lasts. People with faster metabolisms may absorb the filler more quickly, leading to a shorter duration of effect.


With proper technique and appropriate use of fillers, augmentation can last for a considerable amount of time and should not require frequent touch-ups. It is important for patients to work with a qualified and experienced injector who can provide personalised advice on the best approach for achieving their desired results.

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